Doctor attacks South African government for failing women while spending billions on arms deals

s, consultant radiologist and vice-director of the Radiology Department, at the Italian Hospital in Cairo, said that the women attended local clinics after trained social workers had conducted door-to-door visits in an identified area of Cairo, close to the hospital. Female doctors carried out a physical breast examination and women with abnormalities were investigated further at the Italian Hospital, where mammography, ultrasound and biopsies could be performed. About eight breast cancers per 1,000 women were found after the screening programme in the first year, and when half the women were contacted again in the second year, two cancers per thousand women were detected.

"We believe that survival would have been improved for these women as a result of our study, " said Dr Boulos. "This suggests that more lives could be saved if a study with sufficient power proves feasible. We may need about 30-50,000 women in total to provide a statistically significant answer."

Dr Boulos concluded: "A substantial segment of women in the community are resistant to attempts to involve them in the whole process of screening. They are a high risk sub-group and have a prevalence of breast cancer at least as high as those who attend, while their delay in attending is probably contributing to advanced disease at diagnosis. There were indications that as the project proceeded there was increasing willingness in the community to participate. This is encouraging and initiation of screening in other districts should be seriously considered. I believe it is important to expand the study to other areas in Egypt and possibly to other countries in the Middle East."
Abstract no: 233 (14.15 hrs Thursday 18 March, Hall 8)

Breast cancer is a public health problem in Brazil: both incidence and mortality are increasing and not enough cancers are detected at an early stage, according to Dr Jose Bines, a medical oncologist at NCI Brazil, in Rio de Janeiro. "

Contact: Emma Mason
Federation of European Cancer Societies

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